White Sox

James Shields makes history in White Sox loss to Athletics

James Shields makes history in White Sox loss to Athletics

James Shields put his name in the record books twice on Mark Buehrle Day. 

Making his second start since returning from injury, Shields became the 81st pitcher in major-league history to record 2,000 career strikeouts. He then became the first pitcher in major-league history to allow three players to hit their first career home run in a single game. 

Matt Olson, Jaycob Brugman and Franklin Barreto each tagged the White Sox pitcher for their first career blast, as the Athletics jumped out to a 6-0 lead.

"I wasn’t hitting my location with my fastball," Shields said. "Fastball command wasn’t very good today."

The A's held on to a sizable lead all game, notching a 10-2 victory in front of 38,618 at Guaranteed Rate Field. 

Shields' day was done after three innings. He allowed seven hits, six earned runs, three walks and struck out five. 

"Today I didn’t do my job," Shields said. "I didn’t go out there and go deep in the game. I was behind in the count. Lot of walks. We need to clean that up. We need to make Ricky’s life a little easier on making decisions on keeping us in the ballgame."

Despite getting knocked around, Shields still had the time to take in his 2,000th strikeout.

Only five players have whiffed their 2,000th batter in a White Sox uniform - the last one being Javier Vazquez in 2008. Shields fanned Khris Davis in the second inning to reach the milestone. And although he's never been known as a dominant swing-and-miss pitcher, the accomplishment speaks to his longevity and ability to go deep into ballgames. 

"I’ve never considered myself a strikeout pitcher in my career," he said. "I’ve logged a lot of innings but to be able to get that accomplishment is pretty special. Not too many guys have done that."

With the bats, the White Sox didn't give Shields or the bullpen nearly enough runs to stay in the game. The offense picked up one unearned run in both the third and fourth inning, thanks to two infielding errors. Melky Cabrera singled home Yolmer Sanchez, who reached on a Barreto miscue. The following inning, Tim Anderson roped a sac fly to center, plating Todd Frazier. 

In the seventh inning, Frazier picked up his first ejection in 855 MLB games for arguing after umpires called and reviewed that Jose Abreu had slid off the bag while stretching for the third baseman's errant throw. For the second time in as many games, Rick Renteria followed suit, getting the boot for slamming his hat while vehemently disagreeing in the middle of the infield.

"I thought it was quick," Frazier said of the ejection. "I said some things that were borderline I guess."

Olson homered immediately after the ejections - this time off Jake Petricka - to extend the A's lead to eight runs. 

Alen Hanson, who improved his batting average to .333 in a White Sox uniform, was the only player with multiple hits in the Sox order. He went 2-for-4 with two singles. Frazier recorded the team's lone extra-base hit when he delivered a double in the fourth. 

But Saturday exemplified the same rotation problems the White Sox have had for the last month. It marked the 25th time in 31 games that a South Side starter has failed to make a quality start. 

"We’re taxing the bullpen right now and the starters need to do a better job of going deeper in the game," Shields said. "I definitely didn’t do my job today, going deep into the game, and that’s something I’ve always prided myself on. At the end of the day we need to pick those guys up."

Eloy Jimenez is starting to show off his big power

Eloy Jimenez is starting to show off his big power

It appears Eloy Jimenez is heating up.

The White Sox rookie outfielder didn’t get off to a great start this season, but he showed flashes of his potential. Then, he went down with injury and missed more than three weeks.

After going 0-for-7 in his first two games back from injury, Jimenez broke out with two home runs on Wednesday. He followed that up with another bomb on Thursday in a 4-0 win in Houston.


The fact that Jimenez stringing home runs together wasn't the big story of the game is a testament to Lucas Giolito's impressive outing on the mound.

Jimenez now has as many home runs in the four games since coming back from injury (3) as he had in his first 21 games before going down. That’s far too small of a sample size to say the time off did anything productive for Jimenez, but the 22-year-old is showing the power he was known for in the minors.

Overall, Jimenez is hitting .234/.280/.447. The average and on-base percentage are lower than expected considering he was a career .311 hitter in the minors. However, eight of his 22 hits in the majors have gone for extra bases, with six of those being home runs.

Thursday’s home run went 414 feet after he blasted shots of 419 and 417 feet the night before.

He also had some fun with the camera in the dugout and then had some fun in the field by celebrating a diving catch with a laugh.


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After rain-shortened complete game last time out, Lucas Giolito goes the distance for real against Astros

After rain-shortened complete game last time out, Lucas Giolito goes the distance for real against Astros

Lucas Giolito technically had a complete game in his last start, but it was a five-inning rain-shortened complete game.

Giolito himself said he didn’t count that as a complete game.

“I don't consider it a complete game until I get nine,” said after the May 18 win against the Blue Jays.

Giolito got his nine Thursday in Houston. The 24-year-old right-hander went the distance and shutout the Astros.

In a postgame interview on NBC Sports Chicago with broadcasters Jason Benetti and Steve Stone, Giolito laughed when talking about the five-inning complete game. He said he had a couple seven-inning complete games in the minor leagues, but had never gone this deep into a game in his professional career.

“Never got to the ninth inning in my career so it’s a special moment for me,” Giolito said.

When Yuli Gurriel popped out to third base for the last out of the game, Giolito immediately started emphatically clapping his hand into his glove with excitement. He then gave catcher James McCann a high five and a hug.

He limited the Astros to four hits and one walk and used 107 pitches for the complete game. Giolito added nine strikeouts.

Entering the ninth inning, Giolito said there was no discussion from manager Rick Renteria or anyone else about having the bullpen close out the 4-0 win.

“I knew my pitch count was low enough to go out there so there was no need to talk about it,” Giolito said.

This is the third time the Astros, which are tied for the MLB lead in wins at 33, have been shutout this season. They hadn’t been shutout in Houston since Sept. 19 of last season.

Entering Thursday, the Astros led all of baseball in team batting average, on-base percentage and OPS so there’s nothing cheap about this Giolito performance.

“I just felt good today,” Giolito said. “I had a lot of first-pitch strikes. I kept it efficient. I was taking a look at the pitch counts around the seventh and I was like ‘OK, I think if we stay on the same page I think we’re going to get this.’”

Immediately after he said that he got the postgame ice bucket shower from Jose Rondon.

Giolito has been on a heck of a run lately and his season ERA dropped below 3 with this outing. He now has a 2.77 ERA on the season, which is 15th best in baseball.


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